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Such equipment can be used on the 'front-end' of mainframe computers to control one or more input-output terminals and to regulate their connexion to the main computer. Such an installation can be very useful in tailoring the system to the exact needs of the user. In most cases, the archival user will seek to use the computer installation already possessed by his organization. Most large employers have a computer unit which has considerable capacity governments, universities, local authorities, businesses, and specialized institutions and services.

Data retrieval devices, of whatever kind, must be based upon the words included in the above descriptions, and their success must be limited in the first place by the accuracy and fullness of the descriptions given in these fields. In index construction there are choices possible between using humanly assigned index terms and machine extracted terms. Combinations are possible. Where the index terms are humanly assigned, there must be provision for them in the input material. An example of this is the project P R O S P E C - S A , where a variablelength field is provided for the inclusion of index terms by the archivist who is completing the input form.

The site inventory lists can provide rapid access to any document requested by a participating department, under its own reference number. The system is not designed for subject-based searches which run across departmental boundaries. Documentation includes a user manual. Modern Records Procedure (1979). CAR has been officially in operation since February 1977, and has proved itself a simple, practical and inexpensive system. It does not do anything which could not have been done manually, but it is clearly very convenient to have alternative listing from a single originating input document, the transmittal list, which would otherwise be done either by duplicating and sorting copies of the transmittal list or by creating new records such as an action/location index; thus there is appreciable saving in manual documentation and clerical procedures.

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